Helen of Sparta by Amalia Carosella is a wonderfully written tale covering the period of time when Helen (daughter of Zeus and Leda) was the captive of Theseus (son of Poseidon and Aethra). While it does explore Helen’s character prior to her having met Theseus, this is really just the set up for the world as well as the characters.
Not only does Amalia show that she had done her research on the mythology surrounding Helen, but she does so by weaving a beautiful story to give the character (who may be known as Helen of Troy by some) time to tell her side of things. Helen is a strong female lead in this novel, having to fight the gods on whether her fate is sealed or of her own design. It’s heart wrenching, but also heart warming as she finds love and support in places she never thought she would.
While Helen of Sparta also follows Theseus through some of the middle chapters, it is still focused on Helen during that time, only going into depth in order to give the audience a better knowledge of how certain decisions were come to by the other major party in the story. It only builds up the novel, by giving the other characters depth, instead of scattering thoughts by having more than one point of view.
Overall I give Helen of Sparta 5/5 stars, recommending this novel to any mythology buff and/or anyone who enjoys a strong female lead. Beautifully constructed and wonderful depth given to characters glossed over in current mythology.